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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Latest Polls Show Majority Want to Keep Affordable Care Act

From Allison Kopicki’s “Closer Look at Polls Finds Views of Health Law a Bit Less Negative” at the New York Times:

Although much polling has shown that more Americans disapprove of the 2010 health care law than approve, recent polling has shown that a slice of those who disapprove are critical of the law because it does not go far enough in changing the nation’s health care system.
The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll conducted in mid-September posed a two-part question, first asking respondents whether they perceived the law as favorable or unfavorable. Those who answered unfavorable were then asked if their unfavorable view was because the law went too far or not far enough.
Overall, 33 percent of Americans found the law favorable, 43 percent found it unfavorable, and 17 percent were unsure or did not give an opinion. But the faction that disapproved of the law broke down this way: 33 percent who said the law went too far, 7 percent who said the law did not go far enough, and 3 percent who could not say either way.
So when we account for those who disapproved because they wanted more expansive reform, the poll shows that support for the law and opposition to it are much more even: 36 percent oppose the law, and 40 percent are in support of some form of federal health care transformation (if one includes the 7 percent who want a more expanded version).

Kopicki goes on to add that a CNN/ORC poll conducted in late September found that 49 percent of respondents either favored the Affordable Care Act or wanted the law to be even more liberal, with 39 percent opposed to it. Similarly, reports Kopicki, a CBS News poll conducted in July found 39 percent favoring repeal of the ACA, with 54 percent want to keep the law, expand it, or modify it.
Then there’s the New York Times/CBS News poll released last week indicating that “a majority said they would like to see Congress uphold the law and make it work as well as possible (56 percent), rather than stop the law by defunding it (38 percent),” with nearly 70 percent of the uninsured saying “they wanted the health care law upheld and made to work.” Kopicki also cites the heavy traffic that has been reported on the health exchange web sites as yet another indication that the Affordable Care Act is growing in popularity.
Of course none of this will persuade the right-wing ideologues to modify their increasingly indefensible arguments that “Obama care is hugely unpopular” anytime soon. But Dems can reasonably expect that their bellowing about opinion surveys supporting their position will likely morph into grumbling refusal to discuss polls before too long.

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